5.4 Editor's Pick
October 5, 2019

It’s okay that we’re Not Society’s Definition of “Perfect.”

 

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“Ew put that away.”⁣⁣

“When I get pregnant I’ll make sure I don’t get stretch marks.”

“Moms will do anything for attention these days.”
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Instead of getting angry with those who make these comments, I can’t help but feel sad.⁣⁣

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve never judged someone.⁣⁣ I won’t say I’ve never voiced these judgements to another.⁣⁣ What I can say is that most of the judgements I’ve made about someone else, I’ve done so prematurely.⁣⁣

Before I’ve lived what they’ve lived.⁣⁣ Before I’ve experienced.

So to the man who told me to “put it away”—I’m here for you. Maybe one day an important woman in your life will birth a baby, the most beautiful baby. And maybe her postpartum journey will be bumpy—maybe she will have trouble celebrating her body’s journey and the changes that came with it. Maybe then you’ll see how powerful it is for a mama to share her truth. Maybe you’ll even point her in my direction. ⁣⁣

To the girl who is convinced she won’t get stretch marks when she’s pregnant—I’m here for you. When you try every product out there that claims to keep those marks away, yet they begin to weave across your belly, angry and red, spiking your anxiety each time you look down—I’m here for you.⁣⁣
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To the person who attempted to shame me for the attention I’m receiving after posting a photo—I’m here for you. One day, when you find a cause that you’re passionate about, one that might attract negative attention—I’m here for you. You’ll soon realize the true “power” and impact that this attention can bring not only to an individual but to a whole community.⁣

I’m not trying to make excuses for internet trolls or any of the truly hateful people in this world.⁣⁣ I’m not saying that it’s okay for them to say these things—I’m just saying that there’s power in forgiveness.

That there’s always hope for reformation. For new “aha” moments. For changed perspectives.⁣

And when you find yourself in my shoes, I’ll be here for you.

 

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Pregnancy was not glamorous for me.⁣⁣⁣⁣

My “glow” was actually just a thin coat of sweat that stuck around.⁣⁣⁣⁣ My thick and shiny hair didn’t matter a bit—as I didn’t have the energy to take care of it.⁣⁣⁣⁣ My “cute little bump” was in actuality a giant and commanding lump that constantly felt at risk of ripping open.⁣⁣⁣⁣

Pregnancy didn’t make me feel in awe of myself.⁣⁣⁣⁣ It often made me feel like a housing unit.⁣⁣⁣⁣ And that, in turn, made me feel guilty for not loving every moment.⁣⁣⁣⁣

But, do you know what my postpartum journey has brought me?⁣⁣⁣⁣

The power of perspective.⁣⁣⁣⁣

The ability to say it’s okay that my experience wasn’t society’s definition of “perfect.”⁣⁣⁣⁣ Because the definition of perfect has changed for me.⁣

⁣⁣Those stretch marks that hurt so damn badly during pregnancy?⁣⁣⁣⁣ That was my skin making room for even more love to enter our lives.⁣⁣⁣⁣

The uncomfortable and speedy weight gain?⁣⁣⁣⁣ That was my body preparing to nourish my babies.⁣⁣⁣⁣
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It’s taught me that the beauty of pregnancy wasn’t found in shiny hair or a perfectly rounded bump.⁣⁣⁣⁣ And you know what? I did feel that beauty. ⁣⁣I felt that true beauty in the OR.⁣⁣ On the operating table.⁣⁣ In the moment that I was sliced open, my babies across on my chest.⁣⁣⁣⁣

Ultimately, it’s taught me that misery is oftentimes fleeting.⁣⁣⁣⁣ And that sometimes that misery is the pathway to an incomparable joy.⁣

 

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“Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” ~ Marcus Aurelius⁣
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What if today you took this to heart, once and for all? ⁣

What if today you looked at yourself, I mean really zoomed in—determined to ignore the urge to pick out every slight “flaw” that you see?⁣

What if today you put your hand to your skin and just let yourself notice? ⁣Notice how soft and pillowy that “excess” skin is. How silky and smooth it feels pressed between your fingertips. ⁣Notice the natural diversity of the marks that dance across your surface.⁣

The shallow, delicate patterns that adorn your skin contrasted with the boldly raised streaks that resemble twine from a spool.⁣

Notice the evidence of your growth.⁣

Your perspective is your truth, guys. ⁣If you have thought it once, you can think it again. ⁣If you have loved it once, you can love it again. Whether you forced the thought or not. ⁣

Appreciate your bodies in ways that you don’t usually appreciate them. ⁣

Your mind and heart will thank you.

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Image: Hayley Garnett

Image: Author's own

Editor: Naomi Boshari